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Why I Love Talking to My Customers

– Posted in: Articles
Photo Taken by Bill Stilwell https://www.flickr.com/photos/icathing/7353057/

Selling my handcrafted gift items online definitely has a ton of benefits, but there are a few drawbacks to e-commerce as well.  One that I am becoming acutely aware of lately is the disconnected interaction with the customer that comes from utilizing a text base communication method. If "A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words,"  then [...]

Extreme Makeover: Woodshop Edition!

– Posted in: Articles
Shop Plans scribbled on a piece of lined paper

Well, almost immediately after I posted the last video, the shop tour, I ended up completely tearing apart the workshop due to a couple much needed upgrades in the shop.  It all started when I finally decided it was time to add a drum sander to my arsenal. The drum sander is essential to so [...]

Sagebrush: The Next Great Woodworking Material!

– Posted in: Articles
Sagebrush Pen and Sagebrush Pen Blank

As it turns out, Nevada's most plentiful resource isn't merely a source for allergies anymore. I've lived in Nevada my entire life, and I have to say that sagebrush is so ubiquitous that I almost don't notice it anymore. Everywhere you turn all across the state, you will find sagebrush growing. Well, I finally figured [...]

Flattening Wide Boards and Making Wooden Screws

– Posted in: Articles
A router jig that will allow me to flatten wide boards using the Festool MFT table with MDF rails and a thick oak board with my Festool router attached to it

More Experiments in the Wood Lab This week the wood laboratory was in full effect working on a few shop aids that have been on the To Do list forever, but I never got around to it: A router jig that will flatten wide boards that can't fit in the planer and a wooden screw [...]

Kaizen Foam – Miracle Product or Gimmick?

– Posted in: Articles
Bridge City Toolworks nestled into the kaizen foam

As part of the sewing cabinet build, the bottom drawer was built oversize in order to hold an embroidery attachment for the sewing machine.  Because the embroidery attachment is "T" shaped, I wanted to build a nice system to hold it tightly and somewhat form-fitting.  My original thought was to create something out of MDF, [...]

The Problem With the iPhone 5S – Sanding

– Posted in: Articles
Sign that says "Safety FIrst... OK Maybe Third" from http://www.flickr.com/photos/phil_g/ Unchanged from original

If you are like me, and you rushed out to get the new iPhone 5S when it was released, you are probably pretty happy with it. I know I love mine, since the camera is awesome, it's faster, and it even came with a nifty new security feature - the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. To [...]

Woodworker’s Guide to Gift Wrapping

– Posted in: Articles
Festool MFT gift wrapping station and miscellaneous tools

If you are like me, you stash your gifts in your shop since nobody in their right mind would go searching around for them there. Or, you bought all your gifts yesterday and realized that you need to wrap them! So, with your stack of gifts sitting in your shop, now you need to wrap [...]

The Homemade Spray Booth – Friend or Foe?

– Posted in: Articles
spray booth with all four walls down

After spraying projects on my driveway in Las Vegas, and having neighbors drive by and wonder what the heck I was doing,  I was initially relieved when I moved into a real shop.  I was all excited the first time I pulled the HVLP out for the first project, until I realized that this location [...]

Surface Prep & Sanding Secrets

– Posted in: Articles
A bunch of sanding tools laid out on a table: Festool ETS 150 Random Orbit Sander, Flexible Sanding Strip, "Preppin' Weapon" Sanding Block, Mirka Vacuum Sanding Block, Sanding Doodads,

I employ a number of surface prep "weapons".  In the photo, I have laid out a few that I use on pretty much every project.  I have described each of my favorite and most used tools below, and I have included links to where I buy them for anyone interested.  Some of these would be [...]

Nice Rack! – The Benefits of Being A Woodworker

– Posted in: Articles
A rack made of 7 dowels glued into a board to hang Gretchen's Infinity Scarves on

Being a woodworker is great because I can build things rather than buy them, and usually out of scraps laying around the shop.  You don't even need to be a 'woodworker' necessarily.  You could consider yourself a DIY'er, a tinkerer, a weekend warrior with tools, or a maker. Whatever you call yourself, if you got [...]